THE 12: #5 FIND AN INTIMIDATOR
OVER the years the Eagles have become a fine group of upstanding young men. Nobody is publicly beating his wife; the QB is no longer a criminal, the ex-coaches son died last year with a bunch of steroids on him and NOT ONE Eagle tested positive for performance enhancers last year. Or for that matter any illegal, banned or controversial substance. Arrests are unheard of here. It speaks to the sort of player, (people actually), that this organization adds to it. Hell, our biggest Free Agent hangs out with the President, for crying out loud. Man, do we have a bunch of nice guys here!
And that’s kind of a problem. We’re wall to wall with choirboys, but our Defense lacks that one thing every legendary Defense MUST have. A guy that other guys fear.
Remember when Tiki Barber said that Jeremiah Trotter was one of the reasons he was retiring?
He gives an example of a memorably brutal week: “Philadelphia, second week of this season. Jeremiah Trotter”—the Eagles’ unapologetically rabid linebacker—“literally hit me every play. I couldn’t get out of my bed without doing this.” Barber uses his hand to slowly lift his head. “I had a strain in my scapular muscular area. When I was 22, I’d get that injury and feel fine by Wednesday. It was Friday, and I didn’t think I’d be able to play. I got worked on five times that week. Acupuncture, two chiropractic appointments, and ART, which is active release technique, and two massages. Just so I could play!”
Or how about the time the heel of Reggie White’s hand bent the facemask of Redskins back-up QB Jeff Rutledge. Rutledge went to the sideline, and you could see the relief in his face, certain he would be pulled since his helmet was unwearable. You could also see Rutledge’s face fall when Redskins starter Mark Rypien simply extended his own helmet out to Rutledge.
That, is fear. That, is intimidation. And we don’t have THAT.
Today I couldn’t name you one Eagles Defensive player that I feel could take me in a fist fight. When I think Ray Lewis or Brian Urlacher, I feel that I’d better pack a lunch, because my work would be cut out for me. Ronnie Lott, was only 200lbs, but the man was flat out crazy, and would hit anything that moved with every ounce of force his frame could muster. Seth Joyner always had the look, and played with the violence of a man who’d just found out that the 8 year old, isn’t his. Greg Lloyd’s own teammates kept their distance as he warmed up. Two words: Steve Atwater. Did the receivers he faced ever hear the footsteps? Ever fear the footsteps? YES. To them the football field must have sounded like an orphanage at dinner time.
We don’t have that. We’ve been missing that. We need to go get THAT.
A guy like MLB Rey Maualuga comes to mind. He fits beside DeMeco Ryans if the scheme is 3-4 (with both guys at ILB), or in the 4-3 Under with Maualuga could replace Ryans at MLB, allowing Ryans to be moved around. Mychal Kendricks, Maualuga and Ryans would be a nice top 3 to have. It would certainly bring up the LB’s tough guy profile. Couple that with an adjustment to the coverage (upcoming in THE 12: #7) and you have an opportunity to change the perception of this team.
We could use it.
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